April 15, 2014

What’s Hot | Library By Design


The latest in library products & furnishings from the Fall 2013 Library by Design supplement to Library Journal.

Librarians’ Picks | Library By Design


Librarians who have participated in recent renovations and building projects call out some of their favorite furnishings, fixtures, and products, from the Fall 2013 Library By Design supplement to Library Journal.

Same Budget, New Branches | Library By Design

ENVISIONING THE WAY FORWARD Olathe Public Library’s (OPL) current branch (l.) and a look at how it might appear following future changes (inset). OPL’s Strategic Visioning Workshop (second row), a daylong event at which community leaders gathered to discuss how OPL could align its services and facilities planning to support a shared view for the future of the community. Participants were guided through a series of focused activities to develop ideas and encourage visionary thinking. Top right planning photo courtesy of the City of Olathe, KA;  library photo and top left planning photo courtesy of Group 4 Architecture, Research, and Planning, Inc.; kiosk illustration this page ©SFS Architecture

Can your library afford new branches or even operate existing facilities? Many libraries still struggle to meet increasing demand with flat or falling budgets and outmoded facilities.

Embracing Austin, Inside and Out | Library By Design


With a rooftop reading garden and reading porches on three floors, the new Austin Central Library, TX, in the city’s downtown will embrace the community’s love affair with books and nature. “Austin is an outdoor kind of city,” says John W. Gillum, Austin Public Library (APL) facilities process manager. “We tried to bring the outdoors indoors in this building.” Construction started in May on the as-yet-unnamed $90 million, 198,000 square foot new Central Library, which will be built of wood, metal, and native limestone. (Gillum says that the APL Friends Foundation, a merger of the Friends and the foundation, is working on getting a large donation and that may result in a name.)

Creation Nation | Library By Design

SEATTLE DREAMING Top row, l.-r.: Design thinkers gathered at Seattle PL’s Central Library, a city icon now rivaling the landmark Space Needle Once welcomed and signed up for the day’s challenge session, the fun began. Bottom row, l.-r.: Joining in were (l.–r.): King County Library System’s Bill Ptacek and Adrianne Ralph and Seattle PL’s Marcellus Turner. The library’s auditorium did double duty hosting panels and challenges. Bottom right photo ©2013 Koshtra Tolle/Getty Images; all other photos by Kevin Henegan

There are few more exciting places to contemplate the evolution of library design than Seattle’s Central Library, designed by Rem Koolhaas. Opened in 2004 and still surprising, it proved to be a vibrant setting for LJ’s 13th daylong Design Institute (DI), held there May 10 and developed in partnership with Seattle Public Library (SPL) and neighboring King County Library System (KCLS). Some 100 participants gathered with architects and vendors for a confab about the changing shape of library spaces as collections alter in response to digital content and budget-driven, ever-morphing staff levels.

Tomorrow, Visualized | Library by Design

MACROVISION High-def MacroTiles make up a giant screen in the NCSU Hunt Library’s iPearl Immersion Theater. 
Photo by Marc Hall/ NCSU

As I got ready to tour the James B. Hunt Jr. ­Library at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, last spring, as part of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) meeting held nearby, the buzz about the newly unveiled building had reached such a level that I expected to find it, however cool, overhyped. It wasn’t. It was exactly the right amount of hyped. “Every corner of the Hunt Library is designed to be memorable and stunning,” the library’s vision claims. Grandiose as that might sound, those corners deliver.

Librarians’ Picks | Spring 2013


While away the hours in these singular and satisfying reading and lounging spots.

What’s Hot: The Latest in Library Products & Furnishings | Library by Design

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ARCHIVAL Wrap it up The Spine Wrap Pamphlet Binder offers durability, efficiency, preservation, an aesthetically pleasing appearance, and reversibility. Your pamphlet can be quickly and easily stapled or sewn in to give it ultimate protection. The pressure-sensitive adhesive strip applied across the back after the stitching is complete conceals and protects the binding structure, giving a finished look […]

Change Is Coming: Design Institute, Cuyahoga County, OH | Library by Design

The Cuyahoga County DI took place in the Warrensville Heights Branch, designed by HBM Architects.

LJ’s Design Institute (DI) in Cuyahoga County, OH, was itself an example of one of the major trends it planned to cover—flexibility. When Hurricane Sandy rendered New York–based LJ staff and many presenters incommunicado or unable to travel to the event on its originally scheduled date, architects and the event’s host, the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL), worked with LJ to pull off a rescheduled get-together only a month later on December 14, 2012. Attendees re­arranged their schedules to provide a full house despite the short notice and approaching holiday season.

Repurposing Retail | Library by Design


The trend toward putting public libraries in retail spaces such as big-box stores, malls, strip centers, and main street buildings shows no sign of slowing. The McAllen Public Library, TX, main library, which opened in late 2011 in a former Wal-Mart, garnered many awards, including the coveted American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award for Interior Architecture. McAllen residents got a lot of library compared with what they would have gotten building new, reduced their impact on the environment, and turned a blight into a flourishing center of community life.